Stories » Nikolaj Znaider remarkably discharges dual duties of soloist and conductor with CSO / Chicago Tribune

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Nikolaj Znaider remarkably discharges dual duties of soloist and conductor with CSO / Chicago Tribune

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Who would have imagined that the classical music year would limp to a close with allegations of flagrant sexual misconduct scarring the careers of several prominent conductors? At times like these, music lovers need to take the long view, reminding themselves that great music will outlive the private misdeeds of its public practitioners. The music did indeed go on, splendidly so, Thursday night at Symphony Center, where the Chicago Symphony Orchestra played host to the subscription series debut of the Danish-Israeli violin virtuoso Nikolaj Znaider as both soloist and conductor. He discharged his dual duties remarkably. Thus the orchestra was able to ring out a badly battered 2017 on a positive note.

Znaider is the latest big-name fiddler to take up the baton among the younger generation of violinists - including Joshua Bell, Thomas Zehetmair and Nadia Salerno-Sonnenberg - who are pursuing careers on parallel tracks. At 42, Znaider has brought his twofer act to orchestras as far-flung as those of St. Petersburg, Russia, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C.

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